Hanley Ramirez engineers fake hidden ball trick against Luis Valbuena just to keep him guessing
The hidden ball trick is one of the most remarkable plays in all of sports. It relies not on strength, but sleight of hand; not on talent, but trickery. However, sometimes the most successful one isn't a hidden ball trick at all -- it's the fake hidden ball trick. Pulling it off may not get an out, but it may make the baserunner nervous because strange things are afoot.
Hanley Ramirez put that fear into Luis Valbuena's heart when the Red Sox took on the Astros on Saturday afternoon. After throwing the ball back to the mound, Ramirez held his glove as if he had the ball.
"Why not step off the base, take your lead?" Ramirez seems to say to Valbuena. "I certainly wouldn't have the ball hidden in my glove, ready to tag you at a moment's notice. You can trust me, go on. I would never lead you directly into a trap."
But Valbuena didn't trust.
And now he may never feel totally comfortable at first base near Ramirez again. Which could be an even greater victory than simply using the hidden ball trick to tag him out once.
While a check of the box score won't say the fake hidden ball trick had anything to do with the final score, maybe, just maybe, it had a hand in the Red Sox winning, 6-5, in extra innings.